The National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) participated in a youth forum organized by a Youth Network supported by the Kenya Red Cross and the Maasai Mara University. The forum was held at the Maasai Mara University, Narok as part of listening to young people’s voices as a build-up activity for ICPD25 Nairobi Summit.
The University’s Department of Health Sciences (Nursing) made a presentation on universal access to sexual reproductive health and rights and made a case for young people’s health. The County Department of Health was also at hand to handle the policy issues related to adolescent and youth sexual reproductive health. She called on the government to invest in the health of young people and promote human rights.
The Maasai Mara University students were sensitized on ICPD25 Nairobi Summit – NCPD took up this segment of the programme. Foremost, NCPD gave a background on previous international conferences on population and development – Bucharest Fertility Conference in 1974 and the Mexico City Conference on Population in 1984. Much attention was given to the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action developed during the Cairo Conference. After 25 years of ICPD, the focus shifts to the Nairobi Summit with expectation of finishing the unfinished business of PoA in terms of:
- maternal morbidity and mortality reduction
- Addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and young people
- Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and
- Providing reproductive health care to women and youth in emergency situations
The objectives of the ICPD25 Nairobi Summit are:
- Obtain strong political commitment for the Cairo ICPD agenda.
- Create political and financial momentum to advance the ICPD agenda, as an indispensable part of Agenda 2030, in particular around reducing (at a minimum) preventable maternal mortality, unmet need for family planning and eliminating violence against women and harmful practices.
- Offer an inclusive platform for a broad range of Member States and other stakeholders to come together around the universally applicable principle of rights and choices for all
The ICPD25 Nairobi Summit has 13 Signature Sessions including one specifically for young people
There is need to accelerate the ICPD1994 Promise by working towards:
Zero maternal and child deaths
Zero unmet need for family planning and
Zero gender based violence including harmful practices.
The Maasai Mara University students were also introduced to the #IMarchFor campaign. They immediately took it up:
- “We are the Google Generation” – they asked for authentic information on google
- Equal attention, treated with respect when they seek services esp. health
- End to tribalism and corruption that is causing under development
- Funding for Health
- End drug and substance abuse
- Professionalism in the health sector (nurses should stop posing as doctors)
- Reduction in cost of healthcare in this country
- End sexual abuse among youth
- Stop cultural beliefs e.g FGM among the Maa Community of Narok
- Life skills to counter peer pressures
- Call for adequate information on sexual and reproductive health
- Introduction of sex education in the curriculum
- Provision of quality youth friendly services across the country
- Reduction of cost of healthcare in the private sector.